UN: Eight Million Yemenis a Step Away From Famine

UN: Eight Million Yemenis a Step Away From FamineUN: Eight Million Yemenis a Step Away From Famine

Warring sides must let more aid get through to 8.4 million people who are “a step away from famine” in Yemen, a senior UN official said on Monday.

A US-backed Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen’s civil war blockaded ports last month after a missile was fired toward Riyadh, Reuters reported.

Jamie McGoldrick, the humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said the blockade has since been eased, but the situation remained dire.

“The continuing blockade of ports is limiting supplies of fuel, food and medicines; dramatically increasing the number of vulnerable people who need help,” McGoldrick said in a statement.

“The lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, food, shelter and nutrition support,” he added.

That marked an increase from past UN estimates of around 8 million people on the brink of famine.

The United Nations says food shortages caused by Saudi-led blockade has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The US government on Friday called on the Saudi-led military coalition to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid to all of Yemen’s ports and through Sana‘a airport.

 “We have called on both sides to stop the fighting and seek a political solution to the problem,” the official said.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 aiming to restore fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a close Riyadh ally.

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